Kanye West’s Glastonbury performance draws criticism, stage-crasher

kanye west glastonbury festival criticism
Everett Collection/Shutterstock
Kanye West’s larger-than-life antics have once again put him in hot water — this time across the pond. His already-controversial performance Saturday at England’s Glastonbury Festival was even more eventful than expected. Not only did he face a stage-crasher, there have now been several dozen complaints to Ofcom, the British equivalent of the FCC.

According to the U.K.’s Press Association, the rapper’s profanity-laden performance, which was broadcast uncensored on the BBC, has racked up 44 Ofcom complaints. Although viewers had been warned to “expect bad language,” many were still offended enough to formally voice their displeasure. They join the already sizable ranks of Brits upset by West’s performance. Over 100,000 people (at the time of publishing) had signed a Change.org petition requesting that West “listen to his own advice and pass his headline slot on to someone deserving.”

West, obviously, did not heed their request and took the stage as planned. During the show, British comedian Simon Brodkin, in character as Lee Nelson, managed to get on stage to interrupt the concert wearing a “Lee-zus” shirt. (Points for being clever.) He claimed on his Lee Nelson Twitter account that he was giving West a hand in light of all of the naysaying leading up to his performance. Of course, security quickly escorted Brodkin away, and West returned to his performance unfazed. The comedian later commemorated the incident on Twitter, saying he’d done it for Taylor Swift, whose 2009 MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech was infamously crashed by West.

Brodkin’s stunt may have served as small consolation for petitioners still smarting over the fact that West was a headliner. Yet, perhaps West would have been willing to listen, if he believed that there’s actually anyone more “deserving” out there. With his usual penchant for tact and humility, he told the Glastonbury crowd that they were watching “the greatest living rock star on the planet.” Little did he know, Lionel Richie’s performance the next day would draw an even bigger crowd.

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